With the decrease of accountability on those that commit petty theft throughout the state, we have seen a dramatic increase of shoplifters in the bargaining units Alaska's UFCW represents. We've had some of our members make the wrong decision and decide to try to take matters into their own hands. In doing so, they put their lives in danger! We've had members that have had knives pulled on them, our members have been tasered, and even shot while trying to pursue these individuals. Trying to apprehend these thieves is flat out dangerous and against the spirit of any Union contract we bargain. Our members' safety is paramount, and the Employers policy and procedures forbids our members from chasing or trying to detain a suspected shoplifter. If you see something, say something to Store Directors or PICS, but never put yourself at risk.
The Local 1496 Fairbanks Fred Meyer West Grocery and Meat & Seafood, Fred Meyer Fairbanks East Meat & Seafood Negotiation Committee reached a settlement withe the Employer last month and members voted unanimously in favor to accept a new 3 year agreement on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Next for upcoming Fred Meyer contracts will be the Fred Meyer #653 Wasilla Meat & Seafood contract in the Spring of 202 and the 4 Fred Meyer Stores in Anchorage for the Meat & Seafood Agreements which will open for bargaining next summer. Recently, Safeway contracts were ratified by members in Southeast Alaska at Juneau and Ketchikan, where members voted overwhelmingly to accept new 3-year agreements. Also Plumbers Local 262 Business Office in Juneau ratified a new agreement too. Palmer/Wasilla Safeway voted and ratified a new 3-year contract in December. Next in line for voting is Safeway Kenai/Soldotna sometime in January. The Safeway in Homer Union, members are currently waiting for bargaining dates to meet and negotiate with the Employer.
We frequently inform our members a bout the importance of "shopping Union", and for good reason. Actually, we have 8 good reasons for your and your family to shop only at Union stores, but Union-made products and patronize Union employers whenever possible:
1. You'll increase your Union's clout at the bargaining table. Wages and benefits are highest where Union employers command the highest percentage of market share. Where Union market share is low, some employers may interpret it as a sign of weakness and try to push for concessions. But strong Union market share is taken as evidence of a strong Union which will fight for the best possible contract.
2. You'll encourage higher standards throughout the many industries we represent. Non-Union competition tends to drive down wages and benefits for everyone. When you spend your dollars at an Union-affiliated employer, you help the company resist the competitive pressures to "cut corners" and try to lower its own standards.
3. Union businesses need your business. The good Union job you save could be your own!
4. You'll help increase the availability of work hours. A busier store or other business means more work and more pay for Union workers.
5. You'll help fortify your community's economic health. Union employers pay better, so their workers have more to spend, supporting local businesses. The workers also have good health benefits, so they don't have to rely on taxpayer-supported health services.
6. Good behavior should be rewarded. A good Union employer deserves encouragement and support for treating workers with respect.
7. You'll protect your health benefits. Every hour of work gained at a non-Union business meas an equivalent loss at a Union employer. The result is less money in the health benefits trust funds which pay for health care for Union members and their families. Conversely, more business at Union businesses equals more hours for Union workers, which equals more money to spend on health benefits.
8. You'll be expressing your Union pride. Showing your support for Union employers expresses your personal commitment to the power of Solidarity.
Recently, you may have been mailed a yellow card from American Income Life Insurance Company. This company is a very reputable company. You may not know that they offer all of our Union members, whether retired or actively working a no-cost to you Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy. You do NOT need to sign the policy card for it to be activated. You do NOT have to meet with the agents who call you. And if you do, please do not feel pressured to sign anything you are not comfortable with. If you have any questions, please contact your Union office at 258-1496 or 1-800-478-1496 ( Fairbanks 907-456-6571).
Your Alaska UFCW Local and its members have been busy negotiating labor agreements across the state with various employers. Most recently in Southeast Alaska: Tatsuda's IGA Union members ratified a new 2 year agreement with a unanimous yes vote on Friday, June 28th, and in Petersburg, on Tuesday, July 2nd, Trading Union IGA and Hammer & Wikan workers overwhelmingly voted yes to accept a new 3 year contract that protects their health and welfare benefits with no new out-of-pocket co-pay cost to its members as well as ratification bonuses for all classifications within the contract. Fairbanks: Market Basket and Fairbanks Distributors' workers each ratified new 3 year agreements this summer that included the employers picking up the cost of healthcare increases on the Union plan for its employees and meaningful wage increase over the life of the agreements. Up next for Safeway contract negotiations will be for Fairbanks/North Pole locations where the Union will be meeting with the Employer on Tuesday, August 13th and Wednesday, August 14th, to exchange proposals. The Union and its Committee Members from the stores will be working hard on the behalf of their coworkers to secure the best wages, benefits, and working conditions the Employer has to offer. Following Safeway Fairbanks/North Pole contract will be Safeway Homer, Ketchikan and the Mat-Su Valley.
The Annual Fairbanks Labor Day parade and picnic is on Monday, September 2nd. The parade starts at 12:00 noon at the Noel Wien Library and ends at the Pioneer Park. The picnic is being held there starting at 1:00 pm. The admission is $5 per person or $10 per family. Those who walk in the parade will be admitted to the picnic for free. Any questions or need additional information, just give our Fairbanks office a call at 456-6571.
In Southern California, where seven UFCW Locals representing 60,000 Kroger/Ralphs and Albertsons/ Vons Workers have been in negotiations for a new contract agreement since March, and voted in May to authorize a strike are scheduled to meet again for a 3 day bargaining secession starting on July 30th. The workers are fighting against the Employers proposed 2-tier wage structure to classifications and reduced contributions to health and welfare cost. Similar to Southern California, Portland's Local 555 has taken strike votes and continues to hold strike votes scheduled throughout the state for its members that work for Albertsons and Safeway stores, which are owned by Albertsons Cos. and QFC and Fred Meyer brans are owned by Kroger. After multiple rounds of bargaining for the last year, the Employers have been reluctant to respond with needed pay increases. The Local 555, UFCW represents more than 25,000 workers in grocery stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Union members have specific rights on the job that are spelled out in your contract. You also have rights that are protections in state and federal law. Having a Union makes a difference. On average, Union members earn about 20% more in wages than non-union members. Because each contract can be different, a member should read their contract to find out about wages. (To receive a copy of your Union contract, contact your Shop Steward or call the Union office at 258-1496 or 1-800-478-1496 - Fairbanks 456-6571.) Wages are one part of an overall package for many Union members including: Health care coverage, retirement, vacation, paid holidays, and sick leave. The industries in the state and national economy that have the most "Union Density" percentage of Union members in a particular workforce tend to have a stronger ability to bargain for higher wages and benefits. Organizing new work sites and new workers not only helps those particular workers get better wages, it especially helps all Union members. Make sure you check your paycheck. If you feel that you have missed a pay raise, not been paid for time worked, not been paid properly for holiday time, etc, contact your Union Representative.
Nominations: Nominations for the offices of President, Secretary/Treasurer, Recorder and ten Vice-Presidents will be accepted at meetings to be held prior to General Membership Meetings as follows:
Anchorage/Eagle River: Monday, July 1, 9AM and 5PM at UFCW Office-501 W. Northern Lights Blvd
Ketchikan: Monday, July 1, 9AM and 7PM at the Best Western Landing
Seward: Monday, July 1, 6PM at Harbor 360
North Pole: Tuesday, July 2, 3PM at North Pole Plaza
Fairbanks: Tuesday, July 2, 9AM and 5PM at UFCW Office - 2120 S. Cushman
Palmer/Wasilla: Tuesday, July 2, 5PM at Curtis Menard Memorial Sports Center
Homer: Tuesday, July 2, 6PM at Bidarka Inn
Petersburg: Tuesday, July 2, 7PM and Wednesday, July 3, 9AM at Scandia House
Eagle River: Wednesday, July 3, 4PM at Parks & Rec - 12001 Business Blvd
Juneau: Wednesday, July 3, 5PM at Travel Lodge-Glacier Hwy
Kenai/Soldotna: Wednesday, July 3, 9AM and 4PM at Aspen Inn Soldotna
Conduct of Nominations: No member may be nominated to more than one office in any election, and no member may hold more than one Local Union elected office at any one time. Members wishing to be nominated for Local Union office need not be present at the nomination meeting to be nominated; however, they must be nominated by a member present at a meeting and the individual nominating the member must present a written letter from the nominee accepting the nomination or the nomination shall be ruled invalid.
Eligibility: An active member in the Local Union who has been an active member in the Local Union, or who had been a member of another organization merged with the Local Union for a continuous aggregate of at least one year immediately preceding the month in which nominations are held, or an active member in the Local Union who has been an active member in the International Union continuously for at least two years immediately preceding the month in which nominations are held, shall be eligible to hold any Local Union office.
UFCW Local 1496 and it's bargaining committee members in Petersburg, Alaska have reached a recommended settlement with the two employers in Petersburg at Hammer & Wikan and IGA Trading Union Grocery and Hardware Stores. The Members there will be voting on the settlement Tuesday, July 2nd, from 2PM-8PM at the Scandia House meeting room. We'd like to thank the bargaining committee who stood strong to reach an acceptable offer as follows: Hammer & Wikan, Ken Duncan, Veronique Abbott, Pamela Durst, Carrie Buller; Trading Union, Christy Brown, Daniel Kangas, Debra Satterwhite and Lyman Hudson.
This is what's new in UFCW 1496!